Dr. Robert Kaldawi (Ph. D., Biochemistry)
Robert completed a Bachelor of Science with honours (IIA) at Monash University in 1982 and then a Doctorate in Biochemistry graduating in 1985 from the same Campus.
After completing his Ph. D, Robert worked in the pharmaceutical industry for six years. Throughout this time, he ran in vitro research laboratory working on vascular prosthesis, became a Development Chemist and worked in clinical and research Biochemistry.
Around 1989, Robert became an Accredited Clinical Educator / Assessor by Department of Human Services (DHS 92/003) under the Victorian Accredited Driver Education Program (VADEP).
Due to his interest in holistic Health and caring for people, Robert founded the Academy of Health Education of Victoria (AHEV) in the same year.
Robert became an active PD trainer and consultant for many years to various government and non- government departments and organisations such as Health department, VAADA, Pleasant View, General Practitioners Divisions including Conferences for Magistrates, Registrars and Department of Corrections and Justice.
Robert also became in the bio-psycho-social model for addiction encompassing biological / genetic basis (Nature) along with psycho-social (Nurture) factors. This was considered as unique advantage to understanding the combined model approach as most therapists in Australia heavily rely on the Psycho- social model of counselling, namely, “harm minimisation”. Consequently, Robert provided tools for further training and research in genetics and debated the basis of addiction with experts in this field. Robert's “Biochemistry” qualifications and training was ideal for this role.
To compliment further his psychological qualifications, Robert undertook postgraduate studies in Counselling and Meditation-Based Stress Management (a clinical program, Community Medicine, Monash University).
Robert has been very active in Alcohol and Drug Awareness and rehabilitation since 1990. His career continued to progress naturally with the design and development of educational tools, including: ABOUT A DRUG CALLED ALCOHOL (Video and Booklet), ARE YOU OVER .05? (Pamphlet and Poster), GENETIC PREDISPOSITION AND ALCOHOLISM (Booklet), MEDITATION-BASED STRESS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (Booklet), KNOW YOUR LIMIT (DVD) and KNOW YOUR LIMIT APP launched on both android and apple stores.
Robert also launched numerous websites including:
- interlockforcar.com.au; and
Robert's experience spans both the Academic and Corporate Scientific Sectors enabling him to develop excellent educational resource (s) for schools, community, professionals and trainers.
A milestone in Robert's career was the the launch of a legendary and historical campaign in July 2011 aiming at changing the way Australians perceive the drug alcohol. Synergistically, Robert also launched the slogans:
IF YOU BINGE DRINK YOUR BRAIN WILL SHRINK TM and .05 WHETHER OR NOT YOU DRIVE.
In 2011, as a result of his professional and community efforts, Robert was nominated for Australian of the Year by Professor Jon Currie, Head of Addiction Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital.
Governments play an important role in educating the community on various aspects of health and lifestyle, however, Robert prefers not to remain idle whilst waiting for such projects to be implemented. Thus, Robert became highly active in public education and health awareness such as personally funding a Radio campaign (3 AW) on alcohol awareness which was instrumental in information provision across the community. Such efforts include Robert's features in both electronic and printed media. He has been interviewed on numerous occasions by various broadcasters such as Derryn Hinch, Nick McCallum and others.
Robert's research on alcohol and message of awareness was often featured in newspapers such as the Herald Sun and TV Programs such as “a current affair” and Today Tonight”.
In so doing, Robert began an irreversible and steady momentum for behavioural change across future Australian generations.